Remember back in lockdown 1.0 when we all hopelessly fell head over heels for Connell’s chain necklace and his turbulent but intoxicating on-and-off relationship with Marianne? 

It might seem like a distant memory, what with Bridgerton’s Simon Basset, The Kissing Booth 3’s Noah Flynn and Never Have I Ever’s Paxton Hall-Yoshida all being the latest heartthrobs to grace our screens since the release, but back in April 2020, the captivating love between the two young souls in the BBC’s adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Normal People left us heartbroken and itching for more. 

Luckily for us, the wait is almost over! Sally Rooney’s latest and third heart wrenching novel is about to drop in a matter of weeks. Here’s everything you need to know.

Sally Rooney

What’s it called?

Set to be published by Sally Rooney’s UK publisher, Faber, the novel is entitled Beautiful World, Where Are You.  

What’s it about?

Beautiful World, Where Are You follows four young adults – Alice, Felix, Eileen and Simon – who, while are all still in their youthful element, feel as though life is catching up with them. They feel young, free and able to do as they please both sexually and with their career, but they are constantly riddled with the worries of their friendships and the world around them.

It’s a narrative about learning to navigate where you fit in.

Novelist Alice meets Felix, a warehouse worker, and in the spur of the moment, asks him whether he’d like to travel around the historic city of Rome alongside her. Meanwhile in Dublin – come on, you knew the Irish hotspot was going to pop up alongside the way in some way or another – her best friend Eileen is dealing with a dramatic break-up. It’s only now that she finds herself falling back into her flirtatious ways, leading on her friend Simon, who she’s known since childhood. 

It’s a narrative about learning to navigate where you fit in, from your personal day-to-day worries through to your societal expectations and career driven goals. With a splattering of flirtation, lust and allure sprinkled in for good measure.

Will any of our previous favourite characters from Normal People and Conversations with Friends make an appearance?

Unfortunately, as much as we’d all love to fall for Connell’s shy personality and edgy chain necklace, and nitpick at Frances and Bobbi’s explosive relationship, it’s unlikely these characters will be making an appearance. 

If you are missing these characters though, you can rest assured that the Hulu and BBC adaptation for Conversation with Friends is still in the works, and until the novel release of Beautiful World, Where Are You in September, you can get your Rooney fix by rereading her other novels and rewatching Normal People.

Rooney’s Beautiful World, Where Are You will be published on 7th September 2021.

Will Sally finally start using quotation marks when the characters speak?

Of course we’re totally joking here. Rooney’s unique style of writing, quotation marks or not, is what quickly intoxicated us into the lives of her far from perfect characters. We’re certain that we, you and everyone else who reads Beautiful World, Where Are You will too fall hopelessly for the four chums as they navigate what it means to be young in today’s world. 

When will it be published?

Rooney’s Beautiful World, Where Are You will be published on 7th September 2021. Pre-order your copy at: waterstones.com


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